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July 27, 2007

Interview with Star Jones Reynolds

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Q: It must take a thick skin to ignore the comments, though.
A:
Look at me. Three years ago, do you think I'd ever appear without the lashes, hair, makeup? But now I'm more secure — why do I need to come here looking like Jessica Rabbit?

Q: So why did you do that before?
A:
Because I was completely insecure about my weight. You hide behind the wall you've built up. When you weigh 300 pounds, you can't buy certain clothes because they don't make them in your size. So you overaccessorize — shoes, makeup, jewelry, purses.

Q: Ironically, it was a purse that helped you confront your weight.
A:
It was the final straw. Every woman carries a little bag when she goes out — for her cell phone, keys, lipstick, and credit card. I had to put an asthma inhaler in mine. It didn't fit. I hated it, but I literally couldn't walk across the room without needing it to breathe.

Q: Ever wish you could go back to being anonymous?
A:
During one of the most stressful weeks of my life — the week after I left The View — I needed to buy personal items, like every other woman in America. So I drive to the drugstore and get my things. At the counter, every magazine has my picture on it with screaming headlines. I'm bracing myself because I know I'm going to get a question, and I don't want to talk about it. I get to the register, and the young lady says, "How you doing, Mrs. Reynolds? Paper or plastic?" And it reminded me: Everybody's just doing their job, baby.

Q: Are women in the TV industry making progress?
A:
Come on. Women still make 70-something cents to every man's dollar, as if my bread somehow costs 30 cents less than his bread. That pisses me off. Donald Trump told me, "Star, they'd never have given you a hard time if you were a white guy." We have to live with who we are. We'll always be thought of as the chick in the skirt. It's up to us to define who that chick is.


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